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Side Effect: Jaw pain

What is Jaw pain?

Jaw pain refers to pain in the jawbone.

In patients with cancer, jaw pain may be a symptom of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).

What does Jaw pain look like?

The symptoms of jaw pain may or may not be able to be seen. If the jaw is infected, redness, inflammation, ulcers, or an abscess may be seen.

The symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) may include:

Some patients may experience local neurological complaints such as jaw numbness or a heaviness feeling in their jaw. Symptoms may occur at the site of a previous dental procedure, but may also occur in other areas and without a recent visit to the dentist.

Who gets Jaw pain?

Risk factors for jaw pain from ONJ include:

Patients with cancer may receive certain treatments that can increase risk of ONJ such as:

How to prevent Jaw pain

Preventing jaw pain, including, ONJ involves regular dental visits, good oral hygiene, and addressing any pre-existing dental problems prior to starting treatments that may increase your risk.

How to treat Jaw pain


1. Ruggiero S, Gralow J, Marx RE, et al. Practical guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteonecrosis of the jaw in patients with cancer. J Oncol Pract 2006;2(1):7-14.

Lorusso L, Pieruzzi L, Gabriele M, et al. Osteonecrosis of the jaw: a rare but possible side effect in thyroid cancer patients treated with tyrosine-kinase inhibitors and bisphosphonates. J Endocrinol Invest 2021;44(12):2557-2566.

Created: April 26, 2024 Updated: April 26, 2024